Part 2 of 2 – CBS correspondent Lesley Stahl and the 60 minutes crew provide a look inside Saudi Aramco, the world’s most profitable company and its largest oil supplier – by far. The interviews focus on Ali Al-Naimi, the Saudi Oil Minister, but also include discussions with Abdallah Jum’ah, Saudi Aramco’s president and CEO, at one of the most impressive control centers I have ever seen. At the end of the video is some honest discussion about the desire for Saudi Arabia to continue its development through the exploitation of its oil gifts.
There is also some interesting commentary about the need to make the oil “greener”, and about the Saudi’s desire to develop solar energy as part of its plan to sell both millions of barrels of oil and gigawatts of electricity. I was somewhat disappointed with Lesley’s questioning at that point – I would have thought that her research would have let her know that the gigawatts plan is real, but it most likely includes a much greater portion of nuclear power than solar power.
I found it rather ironic that the show concluded with the following quote:
“And so, he says, the kingdom will still be in the energy business long after the sun sets on the age of oil.”
Doesn’t it seem strange to anyone with a questioning attitude that it would be possible to remain in the energy business if the sun sets on the age of oil by turning to the solar business? After all, the sun sets on the age of solar every single day.